Nikko, Japan, is just 72 miles (120 km) and two hours north of Tokyo by train, but seems a world apart. Situated at an elevation of more than 4,200 feet (about 1,300 meters) and sporting crisp, clean mountain air, Nikko’s central area reminded us of an alpine village, including some chalet-style architecture and a roadside […]
Eighth in a Series Just an hour by train from Kyoto, Nara is a sometimes-overlooked jewel of a city that has played a key role in the historical and cultural life of Japan. Often visited on day trips from Kyoto — certainly possible if you get an early start — Nara is well worth an […]
Sixth in a series Taking a public bath in Japan can be a wonderfully relaxing experience — as long as you know the rules. Our introduction to the baths came at Kyoto’s Funaoka Onsen, located on a nondescript street about a half hour’s walk from our Airbnb. Here one can slip into a variety of […]
Grand European Travel — which offers more than 300 guided vacations, escorted tours, and river cruises around the world — has a catchy quiz up on its website called “What Type of Traveler Are You?” Just answer a few questions like “How Would You Spend Your Weekend?”, “What Does the Inside of Your Dream House […]
With warm weather now upon us, baby boomer grandparents turn to thoughts of how to entertain their grandkids at times over the summer break if the opportunity or need arises. Today’s guest poster, Gemma Tyler, suggests that taking the grandkids camping — now dubbed “gramping” — can provide a fun-filled and memorable multi-generational outing. Gemma […]
Sixth in a Series At first, it wouldn’t seem that heading to some of Kyoto’s most popular attractions during cherry-blossom season would qualify as an escape. But the key to finding the peace and quiet we were seeking amid the throngs, my wife Catharine and I found, was to just keep walking — and climbing […]
Fifth in a Series Kyoto has so many cultural and spiritual treasures that spending just a few days there can be an exercise in frustration. But once you accept the fact that no matter how long you stay, you’ll probably only scratch the surface of what’s there, you can zone into a sort of Zen […]
In most years, we would have landed in Tokyo right at the peak of cherry blossom season. Alas, my wife, Catharine, and I arrived in the Japanese capital a few days too late in early April this year because the winter there had been unseasonably warm and most of the delicate cherry blossoms had already […]
Arriving in the Shinjuku train station, Tokyo’s busiest, can be a bit intimidating, especially after a trans-Pacific flight with little sleep and in the middle of rush hour. An unfailingly polite people in every other way, Japanese commuters plow through the station like bullet trains, with little deference to gobsmacked tourists staring in bewilderment at […]
My previous travel experiences in Japan had been very brief before my wife, Catharine, and I flew off to Tokyo in early April, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. How much of a language barrier would we find? Is Japan as expensive as it’s reputed to be? Would we face greater-than-average logistical problems there? […]
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